Getting in and out of the venue, stress free
If you stop and think about it, it’s pretty crazy just how much equipment gets in and out of the performance venue at any event. Thousands of drums. Hundreds of keyboard instruments. Tarps, props, costumes, synths, racks, drum sets, timpani – the list goes on and on. Regardless of how much equipment you bring with you, and how long your performance ends up being, it all has to happen within your interval time in order for the show to run on schedule.
If your ensemble’s interval time is nine minutes, that means you have a total of nine minutes in the building. This must include all entry, set-up, performance, tear-down, and removal of equipment.
As you enter the gym/arena, if the previous ensemble has used all of their allotted time (or even gone beyond their interval time) you’ll most likely be hot on their heels to keep the show running on time. It’s very likely that the T&P judge will instruct you to cross the timing line seconds after the previous group has exited that space. The most successful ensembles prepare their students for this in advance, emphasize having a sense of urgency, and have explained that interval time includes entry, set-up, performance, tear-down, and removal of equipment to all performers and helpers.
Discuss in advance the venue’s floor plan: entry point, exit point, timing lines, floor orientation, etc. Make sure your students know the game plan.
After you exit, please remember that your timing stops after you clear the 50% boundary, but that it’s imperative that everyone associated with your ensemble continue to clear the gym/arena quickly. Remove all of your equipment from the main competition area as quickly possible (so the next group may begin setting up), use all exit doors available to you, and save large props that may require some amount of disassembly for last. Figure out in advance how to best avoid a bottleneck with your particular set of equipment.
It takes some practice, but is certainly worthy of your attention as you’ll have less time to absorb mistakes as the season progresses. Getting in and out quickly, but not chaotically, is a difficult balance, and certainly requires great leadership to make it happen.
Lastly, this may be a different routine than is used at your local circuit. Your local shows may be much more laid back and relaxed. If this is what works locally, that’s totally fine, but please make sure your ensemble understands that things move quickly at WGI events. We pride ourselves in contests that run on time, and that begins with groups using only their allotted interval time and not impacting others.